MOSCOW, August 1 (RIA Novosti) – The Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise has departed Russia’s Murmansk Region, where it was under arrest, and is headed to the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, the statement on the organization’s website said Friday.
“Overnight into Friday after accomplishing inspection and customs control Arctic Sunrise under its own power left [Russia’s northern port city of] Murmansk. Approximately in 10 days the vessel will arrive in the port of Amsterdam,” the press release said.
Russian border guards seized the Dutch-registered Greenpeace icebreaker, the Arctic Sunrise, in September. All 30 people on board the vessel, known as the Arctic 30, were detained by Russian authorities after the activists attempted to scale a rig belonging to Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom in protest against drilling in the Arctic. In December, Russia dropped all charges against the so-called Arctic 30 as part of a presidential amnesty.
The Arctic Sunrise has been held in the northern port city of Murmansk since September and even though its seizure was lifted in May and its crew was allowed to board the vessel, the departure of the ship has been repeatedly postponed.